Thursday, June 12, 2008

A title for parents

David Sheff's Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction is not an easy book to read, especially when I am in the middle of fighting with my 14 year old about how she intends to spend her summer, and I certainly can't answer Sheff's question: Has he done the right things in raising his son? Give me another 15 years, and perhaps I'll have a better answer.

I wouldn't read this just for fun. It was fairly boring, with its endless details about the "happy" family life. Lots of this is delusional. Sheff thinks that his son Nic is a "good kid" even when he is caught smoking marijuana when he is 12. Trusting his son was the biggest mistake, and the reason that parents should read this book. I don't trust any of my children. Love them, yes; give them some freedom, yes; but I follow them about, check out their friends, and know as much about what they are doing as I can. Hope for the best, expect the worst and all that. I don't think that Sheff was at all prepared for the worst that came.

Aside from the liberal use of the f-bomb, this book would be okay for students to read, but I don't think they would be interested. Nic has also written a book, Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamine, that sounds far more harrowing and graphic in its depiction of addiction and the poor behavior choices that go along with it.

1 comment:

  1. Ah. Great. Boring, huh? When Mr. Baker suggested it to the incoming 6th grade parents at the meeting last month, I wrote it down (and when I added it to my Amazon "wish list" -- my miles long, accessible from anywhere list of books I want to READ (not own), I discovered the son's book and added it as well).

    In any case, it's on my "to read" list, but knowing that it's a bit dry won't make it any easier.

    Another book I have on my list is "Smashed," about a teenage girl's experience with drinking and partying. Unfortunately, I suspect I may be able to relate to her life. Ouch.

    But that "ouch", I think, has better prepared me for my own children's teen years. I hope. At the time, it was just stupidity.